Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Film Studies


Dr. Christopher E. Glttings


The star machinery of Tamil cinema presents itself as a nearly unfathomable system that produces stars and politicians out of actors and fans out of audiences in an organized fashion. This study is invested in determining a specific mode of star films in Tamil cinema as a unique genre by itself. These films from the southern state of Tamil Nadu in India typically frame and deify the male actor as a star. I argue that the stars in Tamil cinema are not icons for a genre; rather they are the genre themselves. The assimilation of fans into the process of genre formation is based on an established partnership between the industry and the audiences. This research study diagnoses star-centric cinema as cinema of the social in terms of genre, cinematic populism, mythification, identification, star spectacles, melodramatic masculinity and fan-driven organized spectatorship.



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